Winchester CTC is welcoming many new members. To help both riders and leaders stay safe and enjoy the rides, we have produced outline guidance for group riding. Please read and apply them.

In this section you will find:

 
Winchester CTC
Summary Guidance for Riders

Winchester CTC is welcoming many new members. To help both riders and leaders stay safe and enjoy the rides, we have produced outline guidance for group riding. Please read and apply them. Please note that this is a summary only and only highlights the most important points. Please see the more detailed Guidance for Riders, which explains each point and provides further useful information.

1. Ride safely and always follow the Highway Code.
2. Look out for others in your group and don't be afraid to ask for assistance yourself.
3. Make sure you are known to the leader and follow their instructions. Most rides also have a backmarker to ensure the group stays together.
4. Do not ride more than two abreast except when overtaking.
5. Ride in single file on narrow and busy roads if it is safe to do so. Always overtake on the right.
6. In a large group, be prepared to split into smaller groups to allow cars to pass. Leave a gap of about 4 car lengths.

7. Do not ride too closely to the rider in front.
8. Communicate your intentions – slowing, stopping, turning, changing position etc.
9. Support other group members by making them aware of road hazards (cars, potholes, etc.) and by passing messages along the group.
10. At turnings and junctions ensure those behind you can see the route ahead. Wait if asked to by the leader.
11. Tell the leader if anyone is missing or if you are leaving the group.
12. Don't let your lights impair the vision of others. This may be the case with some bright and flashing lights. Avoid using flashing lights after dusk when riding in a group.
13. Wear reflective or light-coloured clothing and ride a roadworthy bike.
14. Ensure you have the tools to deal with punctures and minor repairs.
15. Ensure you have a contact address and emergency phone number with you which the leader can access.
Attachments:
Download this file (GuidanceSummary_V1_PublishedMarch2015.pdf)GuidanceSummary_V1_PublishedMarch2015.pdf[Guidance Summary]148 kB

Winchester CTC – RIDING GUIDANCE (Road Riding) Revised January 2020

Please read the 'Our Rides' section on the Winchester CTC website and try to attend rides appropriate to your abilities and aspirations. If you are not sure which ride to try, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Riding in a group is great fun but is different from cycling on your own. The following guidance is designed to make the rides safe and enjoyable for all.

  1. Ride safely and follow the Highway Code. When on a club ride, you represent the club. Be courteous to other road users, even if they aren't courteous to you. Ensure you have a roadworthy bike.
  2. Group riding is about trust and responsibility and each member should feel responsible for the whole group. Be aware of others in your group and don't be afraid to ask for assistance.
  3. Follow the instructions of the group leader. They should introduce themselves but in a large group this is not always possible. Make sure you are known to the leader, especially if new to the group. Most rides have a backmarker to ensure the group stays together. If you find yourself ahead of the leader, e.g. on a long uphill, stop at the top where safe to regroup. Also stop if you get to a junction.
  4. Do not ride more than two abreast except when overtaking. Overtake efficiently. If riding alone behind a pair, ride behind the inner rider. If riding on the inside, do not ride too close to the kerb where road surfaces are often poor. If riding on the outside ride about a handlebar’s width to the right. Slow down when approaching blind corners as there may be a car approaching.
  5. Change to single file riding when necessary (e.g. on narrow or busy roads) and when instructed to single up. Defer to the leader's judgement. N.B. We do not single where this may encourage unsafe overtaking by vehicles. When singling, the inside rider of each pair normally moves forward, allowing the outside rider to slot in behind. Always ride on the correct side of the road and overtake on the right. Take care on narrow roads, looking over hedges and listening for approaching traffic.
  6. Please be courteous to other road users. An angry and frustrated driver will often take risks and drive aggressively, endangering the safety of the whole group. In a large group and, particularly if there is traffic behind that cannot overtake, be prepared to split into smaller groups of about 4 to 6 to help it pass. The gap between groups should be at least 4 car lengths (20m). Where appropriate and courteous, pull in to let the car pass. Follow the leader's guidance on this or take action yourself if the leader is unaware of the problem.
  7. Do not ride too close to the rider in front; especially when riding two abreast; you or your partner may need to cut in suddenly. Do not overlap wheels with the rider in front. Do not swerve suddenly and avoid sudden changes in speed. On ascents, ride well to the left to allow faster climbers to pass on your right.
  8. Always communicate your intentions. Look behind before starting or changing position. If you need to slow down or stop, shout "SLOWING" or "STOPPING". Stop close to the verge at a safe point.
  9. Support other group members by making them aware of road hazards:
    1. Dangerous road surfaces (potholes, gravel, wet leaves etc.): Call out and point down with left or right hand.
    2. General hazards (e.g. walker, jogger, dog, parked car etc.): Call "on the left" or "on the right" and slow down as appropriate.
    3. When approaching horses particular care is needed. Ensure both rider and horse are aware of your presence and pass slowly and carefully. The horse will often be aware of you before the rider. Use verbal messages and not your bell. The last person past the horse(s) should inform the horse rider that they are the back of the group. For further information see the Cycling UK campaign “Be Nice Say Hi
    4. Warn of approaching traffic by shouting "car down" for oncoming vehicles and “car up” for traffic from behind.
    5. Pass messages up and down the group so that everyone follows suit.

 A List of warning calls when riding in a group can be found  here

  1. At junctions and turnings, check that the next rider in the group can see which way you are turning. If they can't, tell the leader or wait at the junction. Don't block the sight of motorists already at the junction and waiting to pull out.
  2. If you want to leave the group during the ride, tell the leader or backmarker so that you are not treated as a "missing person". Tell the leader if someone leaves the group without telling the leader.
  3. Carry front and rear lights where necessary. Do not use flashing front or rear lights when riding in a group after dusk. The only exception is the back-marker, who may use a flashing rear light. Ensure that your light settings are set to a level that does not impair the vision of fellow riders. Consider duplicating your rear light and/or carry spare batteries. Without adequate lighting the leader may refuse to allow you to join or continue with the group.
  4. Wear light or bright coloured clothing, with reflective strips, bands or belts at night or in particularly dull weather.
  5. On a typical club ride, we suggest you carry:
    1. spare tube(s) and puncture repair kit, pump, tyre levers, multi-tool and any tool specifically needed to adjust your bike;
    2. drink, food (on longer rides) and money for emergencies (cards not always accepted) and refreshment stops;
    3. wet weather and/or warm clothing when necessary. Additional clothing may be needed when returning to Winchester in the evening.

 15. Always make sure you have:

    1. home address and telephone contact number for emergencies: co-locate with money;
    2. if possible, a mobile phone for emergency use. Consider storing an I.C.E. (In Case of Emergency) number; If you keep your phone locked, please keep emergency contact details as per point 15a;
    3. advise the leader if you have any medical condition which may impact on your safety or the safety of the group.

Notes for leaders and backmarkers including checklist for leaders

Checklist for Leaders – Revised January 2020

This checklist is designed as a summary of the Notes for Leaders and Backmarkers. It includes links to the relevant paragraph in the Notes

Before the ride

Route

a)    Devise a suitable route (distance and pace).

b)    Publicise the route on the Winchester CTC Google Group if coffee and lunch destinations not in programme - include a   gpx if you have one.

c)    Take a copy of route or list of key locations to give to the backmarker.

More InfoRoute”

Refreshment stops

a)    Contact coffee stop & lunch stop if appropriate giving approximate number of riders and time.

More InfoRefreshment stops”

Route revisions/cancellations

a)    Check weather forecast and act accordingly.

More InfoRoute revisions/cancellation”

On the day

At the start

a)    Appoint a backmarker and advise him/her of route. Exchange mobile phone numbers.

b)    Welcome new riders and take contact details.

c)    Introduce yourself and backmarker to group and explain ride format.

d)    If Group size exceeds 12 – 15, split into two groups with a leader in each group, and split into smaller groups when leaving Winchester.

More InfoAt the start”

On the ride

a)    You do not have to be at the very front of the group.

b)    Lead the ride at the advertised pace.

c)    Mechanical problems: Ask other riders for help if necessary. More Info “Punctures/mechanical problems”.

d)    Towards end of ride ensure that everyone knows how to get back into Winchester. More Info “End of the ride”.

After the ride

a)    Forward contact details for any new riders to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

b)    In the event of any incident obtain an Incident form from the Winchester CTC Welfare Officer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

More InfoAfter the ride”


Winchester CTC – Notes for leaders and backmarkers

Introduction

How to become a ride leader: If you wish to lead rides for Winchester CTC, you must be a Cycling UK member and registered as a volunteer leader. Your coordinator will ask the Winchester CTC Secretary to register you with Cycling UK, so that you have the additional organisers’ liability cover.  For more information on organisers’ liability cover, see Cycling UK website

Ride leader training: We regularly run ride leader workshops. Speak to your coordinator if you have not attended one or would like a refresher. In addition, many leaders will willingly share their knowledge and act as a mentor.

Leaders’ Google Group: This group is used for swaps and general issues relating to leading rides. Please check with your coordinator that your name has been added.

Before the ride

Route: Devise a route suitable in distance and difficulty (see “Our Rides” for approximate distances and speeds for each type of ride). Wherever possible use minor roads and avoid complicated junctions, although it may be necessary to use short sections of main roads. Mapping tools such as Plotaroute and Strava can be helpful but are not essential.

Route library: There is a route library on the Winchester CTC website.  Other leaders will also be happy to help you work out a route.

Refreshment stops: These are an integral part of the rides. Check that the chosen stops are open and can accommodate the likely numbers. A list of suitable cafés in south Hampshire can be found here. Ring the café or pub from the start if the numbers on the day are significantly different to your booking. On Sunday rides, please liaise with other groups using the same venue.

Notifying the group: If you are a member of the Winchester CTC Google Group, send an email to the Group with the route information in advance of the ride, including a gpx if available and/or link to the route on a mapping tool. This email is re-posted on Facebook, so do not include personal information. It can be helpful to have an extra paper copy of the route available on the day for backmarkers.

What to do if you cannot lead your ride: Email the Leaders Group at “This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.” to arrange a swap. Put the type of ride (e.g. Sunday medium or Tuesday easy-paced) in the heading so that it can be ignored by leaders who don’t ride with that group. If you have already devised a route and notified café venues, mention this in the email as it will encourage volunteers. Please reply to this group if you can volunteer. This shows other leaders that the issue is sorted and is also picked up by the coordinators. If you do a swap privately please tell the coordinators involved.

Route revisions: When there is ice or snow it may be necessary to modify your route. Often the roads are only icy early morning. See the Hampshire Gritted Roads map for roads that are usually gritted. The roads shown in red are usually gritted and so can be used at the start of rides (ignore the blue routes).

Cancellation of rides: You may decide to cancel a ride, e.g. when poor weather makes riding dangerous. It is your decision whether to cancel or not but if you do, please communicate this decision to riders, as follows:

  1. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..These emails are picked up by members with website access and they will post on the website that the ride is cancelled. The website remains our primary source of information as it is available to all.
  2. If you are a member of the Winchester CTC Google Group, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.informing riders that the ride has been cancelled. Messages to this group are usually re-posted on Facebook.
  3. If you are members of other groups associated with Winchester CTC, e.g. WhatsApp, circulate to these groups.
  4. If the roads allow it, go to the start at the appointed time in case a rider has not picked up the message. If you live out of Winchester, you can probably get a volunteer to do this for you.

At the start

Organising the group: Make sure that riders and/or bikes do not cause an obstruction at the meet point. Appoint a backmarker - if possible a registered leader. Exchange mobile phone numbers. Make sure the backmarker knows the route, including the location of refreshment stops and ideally give them a map. Introduce yourself and the backmarker to riders and explain briefly where the ride is going. On Sunday and Wednesday rides, we have 2 and in some cases 3 groups starting from the same venue. Liaise with the other leader(s) so that you know who is in your group. When you are about to leave with your group, say clearly which group is about to move.

Group size: If the group is 12 – 15 or larger, we recommend splitting the ride into smaller groups. Ask someone to lead and back mark each sub-group (where possible a registered leader). See also “Large Groups

New riders: If there are newcomers, welcome them to the group. Try to ascertain their group-cycling experience and introduce them to a few members who can “help” them on the ride. Non-members are allowed to ride with us for 3 rides before joining. Please ask new riders for contact details. Your coordinator can provide Winchester CTC business cards which include space for contact details. After the ride send the information to the Secretary.

Children on rides: We welcome children on our led rides. All children under 18 must have a signed parental consent form (available from the Secretary). Children aged 13 – 17 may ride unaccompanied if they have completed two rides accompanied by a responsible adult acting in loco parentis (during these two rides, the adult remains responsible for the child). There is no lower age limit if accompanied by a responsible adult acting in loco parentis but a signed parental consent form is still needed.

We occasionally agree to look after a child whose parent or guardian is known to us and we know the capabilities of the child. In this case, an individual rider agrees to act as the responsible adult. This must be agreed in advance.

On the road

Rider guidance: All riders must follow the Rider Guidance designed to maximise the safety of groups. Refer riders to the guidance if they do not ride considerately. If they continue to ignore the guidance, you may ask them to leave the ride.

Large groups: Large groups can frustrate motorists. It is best to split into groups of 4 or 5 when leaving town or on busy roads, with 4 – 5 cars length between each group. Ensure each group is led by someone who knows the route and where the group will re-join. N.B: If the group is 12 – 15 or larger, it should also be split for the whole ride.

Riders who cannot manage the pace: If it is obvious from the outset that a rider cannot manage the pace, you or the backmarker may suggest that they return to Winchester whilst still on familiar roads. Encourage them to try one of our slower rides. Once out on the ride, it may be possible for another leader to take slower riders on a short cut. We do not leave riders behind but working with other leaders, this situation can usually be handled.

Leader’s riding position: This is up to you but you may find it easier to lead near but not at the front of the group.

Signals: Convey information using hand and verbal signals. See website for a list of recognised signals. Give clear instructions when approaching major roads, roundabouts, fords etc. Riders take individual responsibility at junctions but you may give guidance such as “clear” or “stop, car from left”. Establish eye contact with drivers waiting at or approaching the junction to encourage them to give way. If the group has to split at a junction, wait somewhere safe to reassemble.

Horses: Make sure that riders follow the instructions in the Rider Guidance on how to approach horses <link> (to Riding Guidance

Singling up: The Riding Guidance has information on singling up when road and/or traffic conditions dictate, and where safe to do so.  This instruction may come from the leader or it may come from someone else in the group who is aware of what is happening behind the group. <link to Riding Guidance

Stopping the group: If you need to stop the group, e.g. to check the route or to regroup, stop where it is safe for the entire group to do so, avoiding road junctions, bends and other road hazards. Warn riders before stopping and keep the carriageway clear.

Punctures/mechanical problems: The leader is not responsible for roadside repairs. All riders are advised to carry at least a spare tube, tyre levers and pump. Allen keys and multi-tools are also useful. Only undertake repairs where it is safe to do so, away from junctions or bends. If the problem can be dealt with quickly, you may decide to keep the group together. In other cases, it is better to split the group and several riders (ideally including another leader) should wait and help the rider sort the problem. Exchange phone numbers and ensure that they know the route.

Keeping the group together: When the route deviates from “ahead” at a junction, it may be preferable to ask a rider to wait for slower riders and link up with the backmarker if necessary, rather than stop the entire group. This keeps the group moving. If the ride has spread out, either slow the ride down or allow the riders to re-group. When re-grouping, ensure that you allow time for the slower riders to have a drink and adjust clothing before moving off again.

Accident/medical problem: In the event of an accident/medical problem, make sure that the scene is safe and that other traffic is aware that something has happened. Call an ambulance if necessary. Avoid moving the rider. If another vehicle is involved and an injury has occurred, call the police. You may split the group and either nominate a leader to take the group going on or ask some experienced riders to remain with the injured/sick rider. Exchange mobile phone numbers.

If the rider attends A&E at the time or later (even if no other person is involved), please obtain an Incident Report form from the Winchester CTC Welfare Officer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The form is sent to the Cycling UK insurer and the Cycling UK officer responsible for member groups.   

End of the ride: Towards the end of the ride, make sure that everyone in the group knows where the ride ends. Usually, riders will go their own way on reaching the city boundary, but check everyone knows how to get home from where they are.

Occasionally, if the weather deteriorates in the last few miles of a ride, some riders want to speed up to get home, whilst others prefer to go more slowly. In this case, stop the group and explain the options. Each group should have a leader who knows the route and no one should ride alone. As leader, your primary responsibility is to the slower group.

After the ride

New riders: Send contact details for new riders to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Photos:  Winchester CTC is always looking for good photos. If you or others on your ride take photos that might be suitable, please consider sending them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Route library: Please consider sending the gpx file of your route to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that it can be added to our Route Library. We recommend that you delete information that identifies your home address.

 

Warning calls when riding in a group

These calls are based on the guidance produced by West Surrey CTC.

Pass warning messages quickly up and down the line so that everyone follows suit.

  • "Car up" or "car behind": There is a vehicle coming up behind the group.
  • "Car down" or "car ahead": There is a vehicle approaching the front of the group.
  • "Single file": A call from the Ride Leader or backmarker when a column of cyclists riding 2 abreast blocks cars from passing safely (overtaking or meeting) on narrow or busy roads or when riding round bends. This call must be relayed backward or forward by everyone to ensure that the move to single file is executed quickly and safely. When singling out, the inside rider of each pair should normally move forward, allowing the outside rider to slot in behind. The call "single file" also alerts everyone to the need to assist in creating spaces for outside riders coming in.
  • "Open Gaps" To help motor traffic overtake the group (or if traffic behind is unable to overtake, you will be requested, where safe, to split into smaller groups of 3 – 5 riders (minimum of 4 car lengths between groups) with the call "open gaps". If you can count 5 riders ahead, you need to open up a gap in front of you.
  • "Clear" and "Stop! Car Left/Right": This call informs following riders at junctions, when the group is joining or crossing another road, if the road is clear. "Clear" means that the junction is safe to cross/turn. If the situation changes and traffic appears, immediately shout "Stop! Car on left/right". Do not use the shout "Not Clear" as some of this shout might not have been fully heard due to weather conditions or traffic noise. If the group cannot stay together the first ones across ride slowly until the others catch up.
  • "Hole"/"Gravel": Any pothole or gravel that could cause a rider to fall. If possible indicate where it is so that following riders can steer away from it. Do this by either pointing or adding to the call "on the left (or right)".
  • "Hazard Left/Right" A general warning of some kind of hazard – usually parked cars or pedestrians. For hazards on the left an alternative warning is to put your left hand behind your back, pointing to the right, away from the hazard.
  • "Stopping!" and "Slowing": A call that each rider must make to warn others. If you brake without letting those behind know your intention they can easily run into you.
  • "Puncture": Let other riders know. They will wait while you repair it (you will probably be given help).
  • "Horse(s)": The group is about to pass horses and special care is needed. Pass as widely as possible. Make sure that both the horse and rider are aware of your presence and if you are approaching from behind call out to the rider. Do not ring your bell. Pay attention to any request by the horse rider – they know the temperament of the horse and its likely reaction to a group of brightly clad cyclists. Last person past the horse(s) to inform the horse rider(s).

Checklist for Leaders

This following checklist provides an aide-mémoire and is an addition to the Notes for Leaders and Backmarkers. It follows the same order as the full guidance. It is divided into 3 sections:

  • Before ride
  • On the day
  • After the ride

 

Before ride

 

Route

a)      Devise suitable route (distance and pace),

b)      Publicise route on Winchester CTC Google Group if coffee and lunch destinations not in programme. If you have one, include gpx

c)       Take copy of route or list of key locations to give to backmarker

 
 

Refreshment Stops

 

Contact coffee stop & lunch stop if appropriate giving approximate number of riders and time

 

Check weather forecast and act accordingly

 

On the day

 

At start

a)      Appoint backmarker and advise him/her of route. Exchange mobile phone numbers

b)      Welcome new riders and take contact details

c)       Introduce yourself and backmarker to group and explain ride format

d)      If Group size exceeds 10 – 12, split into two groups with a leader in each group.

 

 

On ride

You do not have to be at the very front of the group.

Lead the ride at the advertised pace.

Mechanical and medical problems: Ask other riders for help if necessary

Towards end of ride ensure that everyone knows how to get back into Winchester.

 
 
 
 
 

After ride

 

Forward contact details for any new riders to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

In the event of any incident and obtain an Incident form, contact the Secretary This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 
Attachments:
Download this file (Checklist for leaders_amended_21022020.pdf)Checklist for leaders_amended_21022010[Check List for Leaders - Version 21022020]475 kB